Shandon Hopeau, an Academy product and Homegrown Player, burst onto the scene immediately after joining the Sounders development program.
At the time of his signing on March 22, 2017, Hopeau was the third Academy player to sign directly with S2, and became the Sounders first player from a Homegrown territory to ink a professional contract. Hailing from Kapolei, Hawaii, Hopeau was eligible to sign with S2 due to the state of Hawaii not having a Major League Soccer franchise and being designated as a Homegrown territory for the first team.
“It’s a big accomplishment knowing I’m the first player [from Hawaii] to sign,” Hopeau said to SoundersFC.com shortly after signing. “I’m not there yet, though, and I want to come in every day and compete for a spot.”
“Coming from Hawaii I was a bit shy, I usually just have my mom do everything for me,” he said jokingly. “Now I’m on my own so I have to learn and start growing up.”
2016 in the Academy
Shandon Hopeau left his home in Hawaii prior to his senior year in high school, and despite the massive shift in environment, immediately made an impact with the Academy team. Through his first two matches, Hopeau hammered home four goals and caught the attention of everyone watching.
Within a month he was logging time briefly in the USL with Sounders 2, notching 97 minutes in two matches. His lightning-fast acclimation to the game earned him a chance to train with the Sounders first team leading up to their MLS Cup appearance.
Following his training time with the MLS side, Hopeau returned to the U-18 squad and continued his dominance, putting up two goals and two assists in six matches.
Shandon Hopeau with S2 in 2017
Following his strong inaugural run with the Academy in 2016, Hopeau signed onto his first professional contract to play with Sounders FC 2 in 2017. Across 15 games (10 starts) and 766 minutes of play, Hopeau logged four shots on target, one goal, and an assist.
He made his season debut in a 2-1 season-opening loss to Sacramento Republic FC on March 26 and recorded his first career assist in a 3-2 win over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on April 29.
Hopeau will look to continue building on his potential as he returns to S2 for the 2018 season, which begins in just over one week on March 16 at Cheney Stadium.
Hopeau and S2 open the 2018 USL campaign at home at Cheney Stadium on Friday, March 16 as the club takes on their Cascadia rival Portland Timbers 2. Single-match tickets are available for all S2 home matches, and can be purchased here.